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Blogoversary Guest Posts, Wrap Up + Giveaway III

Well, it’s the final day of my blogoversary celebration. And it definitely feels like I’m closer to my third year of blogging than my second. Wow, November seems like a really, really long month.

And while I am a little sad that it’s over, I’m glad to get back to posting as usual this week. Minus a review or two while NaNoWriMo continues to kick me.

It was so amazing to have so many bloggers on the blog this past ten days to share their thoughts about blogging and to share their wisdom. Each of the bloggers has been at this for over a year, several for longer than two, and I am so thankful each and every one of them is a part of this community.

It’s nice to know that there are others out there going through exactly what I am. That while I do this thing all by my lonesome attached to the internet by a keyboard or two, I’m not really alone. Because there are thousands of other amazing bloggers doing exactly the same thing. Pouring their thoughts out onto the digital page for the world to see.

Each of us struggling to formulate sentences that make sense, that captivate, that draw readers to our page again and again. Each of us hoping that our voice stands out in the crowd, if not every day, then at least once. And each of us tackling the hard work, pushing past the drama and overcoming the doubt that comes along with the excitement, thrills and moments of unadulterated joy that are all very much a part of being a book blogger.

I am still so shocked that I’ve managed to do this thing for two years, just about day in and day out. I am still surprised to see that I’ve published over 1,000 posts on this blog. I’m always puzzled by the fact that there are actually people that want to follow me on Twitter aside from spammers, marketers or auto-followers. And I can’t believe that while I don’t have the best ranking, consistent traffic or huge following, that there are these wonderful readers that do visit often, that leave a comment, that make me grin from ear to ear, and that make every moment worth it.

While the landscape has changed over the past two years – the number of blogs has grown, the drama has increased tenfold, the tension has risen, several blogs I started out with are no more, several bloggers have shifted their focus to writing, and each year new debut authors replace the previous year’s group – there are still those bloggers going strong that I first met when I started out. Those blogs that existed long before mine did are still run by bloggers who are icons and pillars of this community. And the authors I knew of and loved before I became a book blogger are ones that I adore even more two years down the road – a few of them are ones I’ve actually had the courage to communicate with.

Yes, that still makes me giddy.

And those bloggers I looked up to for their wisdom and guidance when I barely knew what CSS, HTML, Widget and Sidebar even meant, are still there to offer their expertise – Pam of Bookalicious, who seems to know everything about everything, Rachel of Parajunkee’s View, whose weekly advice about blogging I stalk regularly, Lisa of A Life Bound by Books whose professionalism I admire greatly and who does a tremendous job of showcasing the books and authors she adores, and Alex of Electrifying Reviews, who manages to consistently blog, be just as passionate about as ever about books and who seems to juggle more than anyone I know.

And before I wrap up my part of this post and pass my blog along to the two amazing bloggers I have sharing their wisdom today, I have just one final piece of advice to share.

Make friends with Google.

That’s right. Google. When I first started out I knew no one. I was incredibly shy – I still am – and I would never have thought to ask for guidance from anyone. So I made friends with Google. I typed in those questions I needed answers to. And Google provided answers. Most of the time.

When I wanted to make a grab button for my post, Google gave me links to a few sites that showed me how. When I wanted to learn how to turn my image into a favicon, Google was there to give me a favicon generator.

When I needed guidance on how to manually create a colored text box around my descriptions? Yep, you guessed it. Google. Everything I learned during my first year of blogging I learned from searching for answers on Google. And much of what I learn today comes from there too. Though I couldn’t have transitioned my blog from Blogger to WordPress without Parajunkee’s step-by-step instructions.

There are amazing videos that give visual demonstrations if you need answers. If you want to understand the difference between <p style> and <br /> and &nbsp, just search for it. It’s all there. Laid out in an easy to understand way by people much more skilled than I will ever be. Which is why I stalk those forums and tech blogs and instructional videos on a weekly basis.

And while it’s not always quick or easy to find an answer, the answer is out there.

Definitely don’t be afraid to ask for help from others in the blogging community. We are a helpful bunch. But if you don’t want to wait… I hate waiting… sometimes you can find a quick fix on Google.

Anyway…. with that said, let me now turn the blog over to my final two guests.

Alaiel of Librarian Mouse

On how to keep up and don’t forget yourself in the middle

We bloggers all know that we LOVE ARCs or eARCs, right? It’s one of the perks of being book bloggers and usually, when we already have an audience whom to share with, we reach out to publishers/authors and ask for that book we can’t wait to read.

We might even get access to NetGalley -that frenemy of mine…- and go crazy (crazy, I’m telling you) and start requesting so many eARCs that soon we will find ourselves surrounded and overwhelmed by so many books. And then you might start to panic a little bit. And then stress out. And finally hyperventilate.

So, my advice (because I’ve been there) is that you take a deep breath, relax and decide to be a little more picky. Yes, that’s right. Before requesting an ARC ask yourself if you really want it and if so ask yourself if you will be able to read it before publication date. If the answer is no then you are doing a favor to no one and you will, most likely, take someone else’s chance of reading and writing a review about it.

The most important thing is: be yourself. Read the books you like, the books that hold (or you think might hold) a meaning to you, that might have an adventure you could love. And don’t forget to read and review the books that are on your TBR pile ’cause, let’s be honest, we always have a pile… and it never ends!

FIND ALAIEL…

TWITTER, FACEBOOK, LIBRARIAN MOUSE, GOODREADS, PINTEREST

NetGalley is a frenemy of mine too! But I totally agree that keeping the requests to a minimum alleviates much of the stress! It’s so easy to try for every book you might think you want. But unless you are a fast reader or have some extra time to power through every book you’ve requested, being picky is key.

Thank you so much, Alaiel for sharing your advice! And yes, those TBR piles are endless!

For a little background…

I am pretty sure I first met Alaiel during Armchair BEA 2011. Her blog’s name was so distinctive that it stood out to me. I mean, how cool is the name Librarian Mouse!?!

But I got to know Alaiel much better through email and during the SSRC. I was so thrilled that she decided to participate in the event and even more stoked that she read and loved the books by one of my favorite authors of all time… the always amazing Rachel Vincent.

Alaiel is so super nice and I love that she reads and blogs about the books she wants to, not just the popular books that bring high traffic to her blog. If you haven’t met her or her lovely blog yet, be sure to click on the links above. She is definitely someone worth getting to know in the blogosphere.

Julie of My 5 Monkeys

Julie has offered to share a post she had on her blog about the positive aspects of blogging. I’ve excerpted a portion of that post, but if you’d like to read it in its entirety, CLICK HERE.

Well I think that with blogging comes great responsibility. I have had some wonderful invitations that I never would have had the opportunity without blogging. I have made some wonderful friends in real life that I would never have made. I think that I am more social and willing to help someone in need….

I am more willing to share my books with total strangers within the blogging world. I have also made some amazing friends that its nice to talk to about a good book or bad book.

I think that there are times that I want to stop blogging and just enjoy reading books. But I also think that their support and sharing of books, helps me get through all those times.

FIND JULIE…

TWITTER, FACEBOOK, MY 5 MONKEYS

There are so many amazing opportunities that open up to book bloggers. I wish I had the chance to attend all the wonderful signings, author events and conferences!

But I can’t agree with you more about the friendships. Like you I’ve become much more social than I ever was before. And having friends in the community makes it easier to keep going when you do want to stop blogging and just read those books on the pile.

Thank you so much, Julie, for sharing your blogging experience and wisdom. You have an amazing blog and the fact that you can keep up your blogging and take care of your five “monkeys” is such an inspiration.

For a little background…

I think I first met Julie on Twitter. She was chatting with Jaime of Two Chicks On Books, I believe. But I’d actually known of Julie long before we first spoke. Because I’d seen her blog’s design on the Parajunkee Design website during the almost six months I stalked that blog before getting the courage up to add my name to the waiting list. And I clicked the link to visit her site more than a few times.

Her blog was so pretty and whimsical. But I was awed by the fact that it seemed as if she’d been blogging forever. Which she has been and still is. And I’m so glad that she has decided to remain a part of this bookish community. Because she is one of the nicest bloggers I know of online. And even though I don’t know Julie well, I do know that she’s incredibly helpful, is so kind and supportive and someone whose absence from this community would leave a pretty huge hole.

So be sure to check out her awesome blog or say hi on Twitter!

As this is the final day of my Blogoversary Celebration, I thought I’d share an ARC I received through a trade of…

My Blogoversary Celebration Day 10 Giveaway is for an ARC of SHARDS & ASHES by Melissa Marr, et al that I received through a trade to ONE winner. The ARC looks to be in great condition and will be sent via U.S. mail.

And as I hadn’t chosen to give away a book of either blogger’s choice, I’m including a couple of extra entry opportunities to follow them on Twitter.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below, and all my usual giveaway rules apply. (See my giveaway policy if you have any questions.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Contests and Giveaways, Guest Post | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

48 Responses to “Blogoversary Guest Posts, Wrap Up + Giveaway III”

  1. Louisse says:

    I learned that I shouldn’t request books when I know I won’t have the time to read them anyway.

  2. Nat L.L. says:

    Okay, well it would definitely have to be from this post. The advice being about ARC’s. Especially since we all have books that we want to read that are on our own TBR piles at home, the need to be selective and go through your requested ARC list with a fine-tooth comb is necessary.

  3. Lili says:

    I really like the one about not being jealous of other’s hauls. It leads to over-clutter! It’s not worth it.

  4. lovingrob says:

    All of them! <3 All the advices have been amazing. Not sure I can pick just one.. But this one" Before requesting an ARC ask yourself if you really want it and if so ask yourself if you will be able to read it before publication date. If the answer is no then you are doing a favor to no one and you will, most likely, take someone else’s chance of reading and writing a review about it." It's a great advice, although I'm not sure it involves me ;p I have never received a book ARC. Although I did get a finished copy of Girl of Nightmares. <3 But anyway. All the requests that I make via email is requests for books I'm dying to read. Books I know I will read. But when it comes to NetGalley, I request books I really want to read, but very often I try to read them and I just don't like them at all. And then I don't end up writing a review. But I'm not sure that hurts anyone, since they can send ARCs via NetGalley to anyone :) And, really, it isn't my fault that I don't like all books (A) Hih. Anyway. Awesome advices, thank you all for sharing them :) <3
    Love, Carina

  5. Jennifer says:

    All the advice has been great. I like the tip above about only requesting what you will have time to read. It’s a great tip.

  6. Danielle Nguyen says:

    I think it would have to be to be original. Find your voice. Try to distinguish yourself from other blogs. Don’t just post memes. I think this is really important (and something you do very well). Happy blogoversary & thanks for the chance to win!

  7. Lisa R says:

    Be yourself. That’s honestly the best thing anyone can do. Happy blogoversary and thanks for the giveaway!!

  8. Veronika says:

    I loved them all! It’s really hard to choose only one! It’s a great advice to be honest and have fun! And be yourself and be unique. I think it’s really important in blogging.
    Thank you for all the wonderful posts and giveaways! Happy Blogoversary!

  9. Christina K. says:

    To be yourself and avoid the drama.

    I think that advice is the best:)

    Thank you:)

  10. andreea says:

    I think that one with “read only what you want to read” don’t care about the blog readers, be you, or the reflexion of you through what you’re reading.

  11. Lori says:

    I’d like to say that I learned to try and keep my book hoarding and requesting down….but here I am trying to win this book. It is really great advice to not take on too many requests at once. To be myself and just have fun. Thank you so much for doing this. It has been a great experience to see what everyone has to say.
    Happy Blogoversary!

  12. Priya says:

    My favorite advice was that we should always be grateful by Alba of BookPics. BTW I want to congratulate you again on your 2nd blogoversary :)

  13. The best piece of advice would have to be to remember why you’re blogging in the first place and read what you want to read, not what you feel like you have to read. Happy Blogoversary!!

  14. I don’t think I could pick one. Everyone had such great tips, a lot that I even wrote down. This was such a great idea! Congrats again, and thanks for getting them to share these amazing tips. :D

  15. Hi,
    Avoid the drama. Life is full of that already.
    Jenn

  16. Avery @ Avery's Book Nook says:

    Have fun! If you aren’t then what is the point of it?

  17. Uhmm.. they all had great advises… but either have fun with blogging or don’t care about your numbers…

  18. Emmalee Giantomasso says:

    That you have to enjoy what you are doing. Because if you don’t enjoy it, why are you doing it?

  19. Do it for you! Do it to share your love of books with others.

  20. reading mind says:

    Be the book blogger you want to be. Enjoy what you are doing. be yourself. be honest.

  21. sarah c. says:

    All the advices has been great!! Its extremely hard to just pick one..but being yourself stands out more and have fun!!

  22. Ileana A. says:

    To do what I love to do: read and enjoy blogging. Do what is fun and not boring! :D

  23. deadtossedwaves says:

    Be yourself. It’s really the most important to me.

  24. Definitely to keep calm through all of the hectic things going on, and NOT TO OVERSCHEDULE. I’m learning that lesson right about now. I just have to remember that I started doing this for the fun of it. It’s not a job.

  25. alaielkreuz says:

    I feel so honored just to see my little piece of advice in your blog, Rachel :D Thanks a lot for asking me *small tear*.

    The advice I liked best? Avoid the drama. I couldn’t agree more. Life it too short, book blogging is awesome and drama is overrated. That’s what I always try to remember when something happens in the book blogging community.

    Once again, Happy Blogoversary!!! :D

  26. Haley Miller says:

    Be true to yourself is all I can add.

  27. Angie says:

    Probably to be careful around Twiter. I’ve been addicted for far too long.

  28. Jen says:

    I think to always have fun…that’s what its all about. Why we love to read.

  29. Kelly m says:

    Probably be yourself and stay organized!

  30. Tammy says:

    I love to be yourself. If you are not yourself you will not have fun and enjoy it.

  31. Sarah O says:

    My favourite piece of advice was to blog for yourself, and to not get carried away with your stats.

  32. Natasha says:

    To be yourself. Thanks for the chance to win!

  33. Ashfa says:

    I loved Amy’s advice: “You have to be yourself. Trying to be someone else just won’t work in the long run.”

  34. jenelleriane says:

    I loved a LOT of advices! But I dunno, maybe the one about how we need to remember that blogging’s for fun and is not necessarily our job. :)

  35. Inky says:

    Don’t be afraid to ask for advice!

  36. leannessf says:

    Remember to be yourself and have fun!

    Thanks!
    Leanne

  37. Christina T says:

    About being yourself is important in everything you do, that common courtesy and being respectable to others is always a must and not everything works for everyone and too stress makes blogging a chore instead of fun! :)

  38. Zed says:

    thanks for the giveaway

  39. Rabiah says:

    I do have a problem with over requesting from NetGalley and then my TBR pile quadruples in size! Thanks for all the amazing advice… and the amazing giveaway! :D

  40. To be myself and have fun.

  41. bn100 says:

    to have friends in the community

  42. To only request what I’ll have time to read so I don’t get overwhelmed and to not be so shy because the blogging community is super helpful and friendly.

  43. Kristia says:

    The advice that almost anyone was saying.. To enjoy what we are doing!
    Thank you for the giveaway!

  44. For me it was all the advice!! I dont run a blog but I know if I ever did every bit of advice would be helpful :)

  45. ah Rachel — I had no idea that you stalked my blog , and yes the other Rach does amazing work. Ah I am crying and very touched by your kind words. You are just as awesome too :) I stalk your blogs too

  46. JennH says:

    I’d love the piece of advice saying to be yourself :D

  47. Holly Letson says:

    The one that hits the closest is Librarian Mouse saying not to request too many books at once. I know that–for 1–do like to request several by certain companies when they are available. But, I have always finished them so far. But, LM makes a good point. There could come a time when one couldn’t finish their requested books.

  48. Kirsten W says:

    Not having more books than you can deal with/read. I have a huge book-hoarding problem :P

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